Forest Department wants Tamil Nadu to keep tab on poaching activities

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TIMELY ACTION: Forest Department staff with monitor lizards seized in Villianur, Puducherry recently.
TIMELY ACTION: Forest Department staff with monitor lizards seized in Villianur, Puducherry recently.

Staff Reporter

Six monitor lizards rescued from Villianur, which were poached from Villupuram

PUDUCHERRY: In the wake of continuous incidents of poaching monitor lizards from Tamil Nadu, the Forest Department has written to its counterpart in Tamil Nadu to keep a close watch on poaching activities. The move comes after officials rescued six monitor lizards from Villianur, which were poached and brought from Villupuram district, on Monday.

Two persons had poached the monitor lizards at Kedar village, Villupuram district and brought for sale to Villianur. Officials of the Forest Department had reached the spot after receiving a complaint at 7 a.m. and found the duo selling the monitor lizards on the roadside.

“A fine of Rs. 5,000 was imposed on the two persons. Kedar village is a rocky area and monitor lizards are found there. We will be releasing the monitor lizards into wild areas,” Agriculture Officer of the department Siva Shanmugam said.

Following this, the department has written to forest officials of Tamil Nadu on the poaching activities. “We have written to them about the scenario. Monitor lizards are rocky terrain animals and are mostly not found in Puducherry areas. We have asked them to take care of the situation,” Chief Wildlife Warden P. Devaraj said.

Similarly, the department is planning to write to bar owners association and canteens attached to bars as monitor lizard meat was used for dishes here. “We would sensitise them to the need for desisting from such activities. We will also inform the Excise Department which issues licenses to bars and municipalities which gives licenses for eateries. In case violations are noticed at bars and canteens, then the licenses will be cancelled,” he added.

In a day or two, the department would hold a meeting with members of bar owner association.

“Such incidents were not found in the last three to four years. It is widely prevalent only now. We will be involved in close monitoring activities,” Mr. Devaraj said.

This being the second incident in the last one week, the Forest department was planning to strengthen the mobile patrolling in the early morning hours. “We are planning to check on market areas and bus stands. The monitor lizards are sold for Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 to bars and canteens depending on the weight. In case of lesser weight, the lizards are sold for Rs. 200 to Rs. 250,” Mr. Shanmugam added.

Birds rescued

Officials of the department seized 36 little egrets and herons, which were kept for cooking, from a bar canteen at Moolakulam.



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